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Dredd (2012)
8/10
Simple but great quality entertainment.
29 September 2012
Of course this is not being a perfect movie with an airtight story in it but it absolutely does a great job at providing some great quality entertainment, making "Dredd 3D" a perfectly enjoyable genre flick!

It was actually quite surprising to find out how simple and straightforward this movie was being. It pretty much jumps right into the action and doesn't ever really take the time to setup its world and characters. It's really a movie without any distractions and moves right toward its goal, without making things ever deep or complicated. It might sound as a complain but it really isn't. After all, as the movie progresses we do learn about its characters and get to understand the futuristic world it is taking place in. So it really doesn't ever feel like the movie is wasting time with anything and every time you think the movie is starting to get deeper, more serious or complicated, it goes right back to its action.

And since this movie is taking place in a futuristic world, it has plenty of original elements in it. This also really goes for its action. It allows itself to become really creative with its weaponry and action, which means that the movie often manages to surprise you with stuff and the movie never starts to repeat itself, even though its mostly taking place at one location, with also just an handful of different characters involved.

It's foremost the action that makes this movie a worthwhile experience and its handled and shot very well by both its cast and crew. The movie has a good look to it and doesn't ever try to blow you away with one particular special effect shot or action sequences but rather tries to impress you with its whole end product.

It of course is also being its main character that lets the movie work out. He's a tough and mysterious person, who walks the fine line of what's considered to be good and bad. Sure, Karl Urban does a good job playing the character but in all honestly, it really didn't mattered who would had played him. After all, you most certainly won't be able to recognize Urban in this movie, mostly due to the reason that he never takes of his helmet, which is actually being a good and effective thing for the movie and its main character in general.

Of course when you start nitpicking you could find plenty of flaws to this movie and story but some movies are just made to simply enjoy, without letting you think too much or too long about anything that's happening in it. It might be try that this at the same time makes "Dredd 3D" a somewhat forgettable movie but when you watch you'll simply have a great time, regardless of that!

8/10

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8/10
A reverse love-story.
28 September 2012
Of course this is not a movie for just about everybody but those who are able to appreciate a more subtle, quiet and artistic made movie, with great visuals and a slowly told story, this is a great watch!

You could basically enjoy this movie for two different things; either its storytelling or its visual directing approach by Kar Wai Wong. Really, if you just don't care very much about its story, this movie might still be a very worthwhile experience, due to its great looking visuals and vice versa. Or you of course could enjoy the movie simply for both of these two reasons, which isn't unlikely you will!

It's an odd thing, people describing this movie as a romance. Not that they are wrong about it, after all the movie is shot and told as such a movie but the story in fact is actually being far from romantic. I would even call this movie a reverse love-story, in which the main characters are loosing love instead of finding it and fall out of love instead of in love. It doesn't make this movie any less powerful, involving and even uplifting to watch though. It's not a depressing movie by any means, despite of its themes and more slower type of storytelling.

So it's a slower, more subtle and often visual orientated movie. Normally this style of film-making would often come across as pretentious, also because it's all obviously done in a deliberate and perhaps somewhat forced way. I mean, it's nothing that the movie truly needed to have in it but still it manages to add so much to the movie. It really helps to let the story move along and to establishes the mood for its characters and all of the particular situations. Even when not much is being said, you still exactly know what is going on in the character's minds at the moment.

It's a 'different' movie but that doesn't mean it's being a hard, or odd one to watch. It's a perfectly accessible movie, mostly also due to its clear and straightforward storytelling, that might dwell but never strays off. It's truly a movie you need to experience for yourself and chances are you'll absolutely be grabbed by its storytelling and visual approach!

8/10

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Barricade (2012)
6/10
Effective low budget genre movie.
28 September 2012
Nothing too great about this movie but it uses its low budget creatively and besides is a well made and good looking movie.

It's absolutely, most definitely, a far more professional looking movie than the average low budget genre attempt. The directing, the editing, the cinematography, it's simply all good, making this a perfectly watchable genre flick.

The movie does a good job at handling its mystery and tension. It's being a real effective movie in that regard and the movie constantly keeps throwing you off. Is it being a horror flick, is it all taking place inside the head of main character? The movie implies lots of different things throughout, making you feel unsure what is exactly going on with the story. It really keeps things interesting and helps to keep things going, even when there really isn't an awful lot happening.

This movie often just implies things, without ever truly showing you anything. This is what being creative with a low budget is all about, as opposed for instance other genre movies with a low budget, that show far too much or try to do too much with its restrained budget, with as a result things just look plain bad and work out more often ridicules or laughable. I really do believe that is the main reason why the movie in fact works out.

You could complain that the movie is too dark looking, which is true but again, I also see this in this case as using its low budget creatively. It besides does help to establish a certain type of atmosphere for the movie, which is the right type of atmosphere required for an horror.

It's also certainly true that the movie does sort of fall apart toward it's end but really, it's not any worse than often is being the case with any other random genre attempt. Let me just say that it didn't ruined the experience for me, which perhaps was also because I could see the end coming from miles away, as should any other horror lover. So it's not surprising but still the movie does a good job at handling things and simply does what it does well enough.

Nothing too brilliant obviously but the movie as it is remains a perfectly watchable one.

6/10

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Smoke (1995)
8/10
A great and subtle done movie about the little things in life.
26 September 2012
If you like a real character movie, in which the movie is foremost all about its acting and characters, this movie is a great one to watch!

It's a movie that follows multiple different story lines and characters, with each their own thing going on. They are not necessarily connected, other than through the Harvey Keitel character. And remember, this is a 1995 movie, so please don't expect an Alejandro González Iñárritu type of movie, with a frame narrative in it. It's from before that era, so it's not as slick and 'clever' with all of its different story lines and the way they are connect. It's a more slow and subtle done movie, that has a simple concept and takes a simple approach to it.

And nothing wrong with that, since it does indeed work out well for the movie. It's great to see the different story lines and characters slowly progress throughout the movie and to see where it's all leading up to.

It's about the little things in life really and doesn't attempt to make things bigger or more heavy than they needed to be. It does in a way let this movie feel as a feel good movie, though it's definitely still foremost done as a drama. It's a good thing that it keeps things light and humble, since this definitely improved the movie its entertainment and rewatchability value.

As you would expect, the movie gets mostly carried by its actors. And it really has a fine cast in it, with people such as Harvey Keitel, William Hurt and Forest Whitaker all involved. It's always great to see fine actors act, so that alone already makes this movie worthwhile.

It's definitely worth watching if this movie sounds like your kind of thing!

8/10

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Nightwatch (1997)
7/10
Good enough in its own way.
25 September 2012
Well, lets just start of by saying this movie is no way near as good as the original movie "Nattevagten", of which this movie is a remake but it's still being a pretty good and fun whodunit to have a good time with.

Kind of weird to notice how different this movie is in atmosphere and approach, since it actually got directed by the same director who made the original, 3 years prior to this American remake. And it's not just different but also most definitely less effective. There is not as much tension and mystery in this one, also due to some pacing issues (it's too fast paced at times) and a poor buildup to things.

And all while this movie in essence is still being just like the original. Not much had been changed in its story really and I was therefore also quite surprised to find out Steven Soderbergh was involved with the writing. Guess it was an easy paycheck for him, since really not all that much had been changed or added to the movie, when compared to the original movie.

While the original was being a whole lot of different things, this movie is just being a more simple and more straightforward thriller, or rather said whodunit. So really, don't expect this movie to provide you with any horror but as a mystery/thriller, I can still see this movie entertaining a whole bunch of people out there, of course especially those who aren't familiar with the original movie already.

And really, the movie on its own is really being quite good and entertaining for what it is. It really doesn't handle everything well, mainly stuff concerning the earlier mentioned pacing and buildup to things but as a whole it's still being a better movie than just the average genre attempt. There are plenty of thrills and surprises in it, that help to keep you invested in the movie.

It also has a cast to die for. Really an all-star cast, of which some actors are better known now days as back then. Ewan McGregor plays the main lead, while the movie further more stars Patricia Arquette, Nick Nolte, a still very young looking Josh Brolin, Brad Dourif and John C. Reilly. Not that this movie features any of their best or most interesting and challenging performances but still, it's always good to see so many talented people together on screen.

A definitely good enough movie as a straightforward thriller.

7/10

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Butter (2011)
6/10
A lacking concept but not a terrible movie.
25 September 2012
This is not a movie that shall win any big awards and its a movie that most people most likely will never get to watch but that doesn't mean it's being a terrible movie though. It just happens to be one that is lacking in certain departments and never makes a big or lasting impact with anything but is still being good enough one to watch.

The foremost problem with the movie is that it's being one that solely relies on its concept and not necessarily its comedy writing. It thinks that having a funny and absurd concept equals a funny comedy but it of course really doesn't work like that. It means that the movie is somewhat lacking in its writing and most definitely with its comedy as well. The characters for instance never come quite across, as fun, quirky or likable enough ones, while this was obviously the approach the film-makers were aiming for.

It tried to be like a fun, cute, heartfelt, warm, independent comedy, with a young kid in it, playing an important role but the movie really is lacking the right required warmth and depth to ever work out as a cute and involving one. Again, you should blame the writing, that besides focuses on far too many different characters.

You also feel that the movie really could had used a good and well known comedy actor in it, playing one of the lead roles. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of great and well known actors in this movie but what it is missing is a charismatic comedy actor who can handle its comedy and timing better and turn some average comedy scenes into something truly hilarious.

There are plenty of well known actors in this (Jennifer Garner, Alicia Silverstone, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Ty Burrell, etcetera) but none of them truly makes a lasting impression. Besides, some of them only appear in small roles, such as Hugh Jackman. And while Olivia Wilde is fine, in more than one way, her character sort of goes to waste in this movie. I could see the movie its intentions with her but as it turned out, her character is actually being one the movie could had easily done without. It's also partly due to it that the movie lets her do some very random stuff at times, that have nothing to do with the movie its main story.

The movie also shows some hints of a social satire in it but it just isn't being quite witty enough to let it all truly work out. Again, it's a sign of the movie its aspirations and intentions but due to it writing, it just never takes off.

It's still an harmless and fun enough little movie to watch but at the same time it also is really being a movie you could real easily do without.

6/10

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The Unleashed (2011)
4/10
A poorly handled genre movie.
25 September 2012
What an incredibly silly and formulaic genre flick!

I'm not exaggerating when I'm saying that I was mostly bored while watching this movie. It takes the longest time for something good or interesting to ever happen and the movie does a real poor job at handling its concept.

This is being one of those horror flicks that picks a more realistic approach to things. The one that focuses more on the drama and storytelling, as opposed to any gore or scares. And nothing wrong with such an approach but the problem with this movie is that the story is lacking the right required amount of depth to make and keep things interesting and the story itself is being pretty predictable from start to finish, especially for those who are really into the genre.

Surely they could had come up with some more original stuff. I mean, another horror movie involving an Ouija board and characters with a troubled past? Seriously, why even bother doing a movie when this is all you could come up with. The movie is a completely redundant one within its genre and there really is no good reason why you should ever watch this movie.

Even though the movie focuses on a lot of other things, it foremost is still being a horror of course. But really not an effective one, in any way or form. All it basically has in it are a bunch of false scares, which is not only a very clichéd thing for a genre movie to feature but it also gets repeated far too often in this movie to ever let it work out as anything effective.

Thing with the story was that it also never could interest me. Because of that I started to loose interest in the movie as a whole and after a short while I already had no idea what was going on in the movie any more, simply because I couldn't care about it. None of the events or characters in this movie could ever grab me and the ending really didn't changed much about this.

The only reason why I still give it a somewhat 'high' rating is because the movie never truly angered or annoyed me. It's not a totally horrible movie but it has far too little going for it and besides is being too formulaic- and handles its concept far from effective enough to consider this a good enough and watchable little genre flick.

4/10

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6/10
Star Trek and the search for God.
24 September 2012
William Shatner must have thought; What Leonard Nimoy can do, I can do better! So, next to starring in this movie, Shatner wrote and directed the movie, just as Nimoy did for the previous Star Trek entry; "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock", which he only directed. But as it turned out, Shatner's writing and directing skills were not up to par with Nimoy's!

This movie does plenty wrong and many thought that the series should had ended here. Star Trek had outlived its course and they had obvious difficulties coming up with new stuff to do and keep things up to date with the standards of filmmaking and science-fiction. It perhaps also was no coincidence that the television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation", with an all new cast, got launched in 1987, 2 years prior to this movie and 1 year after the previous Star Trek movie entry. You know Star Trek is in trouble when it is starting to take on Star Wars sound effects and tries to mimic Star Wars like sequences. Isn't that like crossing the streams?

Thing they came up with for this movie; a search for God. Really doesn't sound like the most spectacular thing and it also really isn't. But what's perhaps even more disappointing is that the movie never goes deep. You would expect for a movie with a subject like that to bring up 2 or 3 interesting and provoking questions about life and religion but the movie really never does. It instead seemed like it was more focused on its comedy!

And it's really not the funny sort of comedy but more of the awkward kind. It's very random, silly and often just completely out of place and tone with the rest of the movie. Because of this, there also is never really any sense of danger throughout the movie, which is taking away pretty much all of the excitement and entertainment out of it.

Not that the movie is boring. I mean, in all honesty, it's just as good/bad to watch as any other random science-fiction flick, that involves traveling through space and visiting alien planets. I can still see why this movie is disliked by many, of which most are hardened Star Trek fans. This is pretty much the Star Trek movie in which stuff got made fun of and things turned silly. It also made it obvious how outdated the franchise was getting and how old the cast suddenly turned.

All of the cast members were really starting to look too old for their roles. Nothing wrong with having 2 or 3 wrinkly characters walking around but when it's being a whole starship, that is just being a bit too much. And really, this is of course something they easily could had prevented by introducing new characters and letting them slowly and subtly take over the main parts but somehow I think Shatner opposed to this idea and maybe is also a reason why he demanded full control and directed this movie himself.

It's also true that this movie really could had used a good main villain. Sybok really isn't an evil character at heart and certainly does nothing horrible and while there are some Klingons walking around in this movie, their roles are being pretty limited unfortunately.

In all honesty, it's far from a terrible movie and I certainly still consider it to be a watchable one but it just isn't the most interesting, original, entertaining or clever of Star Trek movies out there.

6/10

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Near Dark (1987)
7/10
A different type of vampire movie.
24 September 2012
This is a different type of vampire movie, that's not all focused on the monster or horror aspects but more on its storytelling, characters and dramatic aspects, without becoming a melodrama or anything like that.

It's a pretty subtle and more quiet type of movie, so to speak. That's also being really the foremost thing that I didn't like all that much about it; it isn't really following a clear main story. Its more the type of movie that follows its characters around and shows things as they happen, without building up to anything. There also isn't a classic type of hero or main villain in the movie, which is of course something that not every movie needs to have in it but in this case, I think I would had most definitely preferred it if this movie had those type of characters in it and followed a more usual main story, with a more typical beginning, middle and end in it.

Other than that, I can't say that the movie is a bad one but it indeed is one that never hits a home-run, metaphorically speaking. It's nice that the movie tries out plenty of new and unusual stuff and it's definitely being an original movie in the vampire genre but not one that's an absolute must-see for anyone. It's just not quite interesting or entertaining enough for that.

Also don't expect this movie to be filled with action or bloodsucking. But that's not a complaint from my part. I liked it that the movie only had a handful of typical vampire moments in it and just about only one big action set piece, that worked out great for the movie and really was all that this movie needed. It set the atmospheric tone and established the 'rules' for this movie, so that the rest of the movie could focus on doing completely other things, which you perhaps normally wouldn't expect being in a vampire flick.

The movie also features Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen in it, among many others. And remember, this is an 80's movie, so that means that it has still awesome Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen in it! No doubt it helped that director Kathryn Bigelow still was with James Cameron at the time, since he's a director who worked a lot with Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen around that same time. Same goes for Jenette Goldstein by the way but she is somewhat of a lesser known actress.

The main characters are still played by some big unknowns (Adrian Pasdar & Jenny Wright), which is perhaps also being something that somewhat keeps the movie down. A more charismatic main lead for instance could had most likely spiced up things a little bit more and would had gotten you more involved with the movie its story and main character.

All in all its being a quite good and different little vampire flick but it's nothing to get all too excited about. Very watchable but not a must-see by any means, not even for the most hardened vampire lovers out there.

7/10

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Nattevagten (1994)
8/10
Simply a great genre movie.
24 September 2012
Even though this is not a perfect movie, it still does nothing really wrong either and this movie is basically being a great example of how to do a great and effective, more classic type, of thriller.

The movie combines many different genre elements and it keeps throwing you around. Is it going to be a horror? Is it going to be psychological thriller? Is it going to be a thriller involving a serial killer? Every time you think you have the movie all figured out it does something new and surprising. So really, it's best to simply watch this movie, without knowing what it truly is going to be all about.

And the good news about the movie as well is that it handles all of its many different themes effectively. When the movie is supposed to be horror like it's being really horror like with its atmosphere and buildup and when the movie is supposed to be more thriller like it's really being suspenseful and mysterious. What I also liked was that the movie was having some clear Giallo genre movie elements in it but then again, every modern horror/thriller involving a killer is being in one way or another derivative of the classic Italian Giallo genre.

It really was foremost the atmosphere of the whole movie that kept it going and suspenseful and interesting. The story itself, when you really start to dissect it is being quite standard for its genre. Yet the movie still manages to surprise you, due to the way it handles certain scenes and its typical genre ingredients, such as the look and feeling it has to it.

The movie also truly benefits from it that it has some good and likable characters in it. No cocky kids, or persons who think they know best and are afraid of nothing but instead some real people, with real fears and emotions. Yes, it might be true that the characters feel that way simply just because this is a Danish production, which of course has a different approach and feeling to it than a more standardized and stylized Hollywood production. Or perhaps it's just all due to some great casting and performances by its actors. This actually was being one of Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau's very first movie roles and he now days has a pretty decent acting career, with already also movies such as "Black Hawk Down", "Kingdom of Heaven" and the television series "Game of Thrones" behind his name.

Guess there is still plenty of stuff you could complain about, such as the lack of blood and gore, while there was plenty of opportunity for it, or that the killer gets revealed far before the finale and end of the movie but that doesn't take away anything from the fact that this is simply being a very effective genre movie, that's perfectly watchable, even on repeated viewings.

8/10

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5/10
A melodrama without any true good or convincing drama.
23 September 2012
Sometimes you just feel that certain movies are just made for award ceremonies. The type of heavy handed dramas, with a melodramatic storyline, that's dealing with sensitive issues, that wants to be politically correct, with a moral in it, that's all set in a specific time period in the past. The type of movie that is always likely to get noticed and nominated for something by some big award shows, regardless of everything, as also was being the case with this movie, which actually got nominated for 4 Oscar's but it eventually won none. And rightfully so!

Oh yes, I recognized this movie very well for trying to be like a big '50's melodramatic production but only problem with it was that this movie was being even more shallow and predictable than a real '50's production. Besides, this movie might had been far more relevant if it indeed got done back in the '50's but in today's light I just can't see anyone being able to take something out of this movie while watching it. And really, I think it's always a very annoying thing when movies set in the past take on today's morals and standards. So the main character in this movie is being extremely liberal concerning African Americans and homosexuality, making this movie a very political correct one, without ever explaining why this main character would feel that way, concerning all of the movie its sensitive subjects.

And that was a problem all throughout as well; the movie just never handles- or builds its drama up very well. It lets things just happen without ever telling you why or how exactly. Why does the main character fall in love? Why do certain people get mad? Why do people suddenly decide to leave? For me, none of this ever became apparent while watching the movie, making this a very shallow viewing experience.

Things weren't improved by the fact that the movie was being a very predictable one, from start to finish. Seriously, nothing surprising ever happened and the movie progressed in the exact same way as I kept anticipating it to do.

And while the movie is trying to be very heavy and dramatic with all of its themes; nothing ever feels all that dramatic. So it's really being a melodrama without any true good drama. Perhaps it could had worked out if I cared a bit more for any of its characters but just like its story; its characters don't seem to have enough depth to them and they are not build up very well. The movie mostly relies on stereotypes, which also includes some very stereotypical characters.

Another thing that highly annoyed me was the, probably deliberate, extremely melodramatic musical score by Elmer Bernstein. It made walking down a stairs sound dramatic and would often swell at points when there wasn't even all that much happening. It was distracting and annoying and it's hard to believe Bernstein even earned himself an Oscar nomination for this and sad to realize this was actually being his final movie, before his death in 2004.

There still was a saving grace in this movie; Julianne Moore. It's not the type of role you normally see her play and she was totally great and convincing in her role, even though the movie itself didn't gave her an awful lot of good or interesting to do.

You could also say it's being a good period piece, with its overall look and atmosphere but due to everything else, I just never could fully appreciate it.

Too late, too forced and a mostly completely ineffective modern, 'old fashioned', genre movie.

5/10

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7/10
Can't say I like it but it is still well made.
22 September 2012
Man, those French filmmakers must have thought they could get away with just about everything. Jean-Luc Godard movies are just too weird, even for my taste.

Make no mistake about it, Godard movies are more art than movies really. This means that you have to interpret most of the stuff that is happening in this movie on your own, since the movie makes no attempt to clearly lay out everything for you and you constantly need to invest yourself into this movie, which is I guess something that lots of people like to do but I just prefer a bit of a more straightforward told story, that gets you involved with its writing and acting and not just with its images.

That doesn't mean I can't appreciate this movie on some level though. Like I said, it's not like I don't understand it but I just don't like it very much. I can see exactly what this movie was trying to do and say with all of it satire and this is also why I'm still being mostly positive toward this movie. After all, it simply works out in the way it wants to, so how could I be negative about it. I can also see some people liking this kind of movie and go back to it, since you'll probably catch new little things every time you watch it.

Sometimes these sort of movies indeed could work out well for me but this movie just never clicked with me on any level. In essence it had a good and interesting story but the way it got told made this a too hard to follow and far from pleasant viewing experience. It's just a bit too artsy and too busy trying to say- and make a point about things, without telling a good, interesting and involving enough story.

It's a thinking man's movie, that constantly forces you to use your mind and own imagination to fill in certain blanks and to interpret certain images and pieces of dialog. IF this sounds like your type of thing, go ahead and watch it. If it doesn't, than simply stay away from it, as far as possible!

7/10

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Let Me In (I) (2010)
8/10
Great to watch, even if you have already seen the original.
21 September 2012
Remakes are not always necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it can even be an improvement over the original, due to an higher budget or more and better experienced people involved, both in front and behind the cameras. But there are also certain remakes that don't try to be bigger and better than the original movie and mostly simply rely on the original material, that was good enough as it was already. This is one of those remakes. You could perhaps say that it's playing things simply safe by trying to remain loyal to the original or you could also say it's being respectful toward its original material and makes the movie and story simply more accessible and available to a broader audience. I certainly didn't mind the movie taking this kind of approach and it's still different enough with little things and nuances to allow this movie to coexist, alongside the original and to also consider this a watchable and good movie, even if you're already familiar with the original one.

Some people claim this is simply being a shot-by-shot remake of the 2008 Swedish movie "Låt den rätte komma in" but people probably only say this because both movies have a very similar visual style and some sequences and pieces of dialog are being exactly the same. But really, there is still plenty of difference between the two movies. Not just minor story changes but some characters are simply completely left out or added into the movie.

Then the unavoidable question of which movie is the better one? Well, both are in some ways better than the other. For instance, in the original the whole relationship and friendship between the two main characters worked out far better and more convincing, while in this movie there are less distractions and it really mainly focuses on its main plot line and 2 main characters. In other words; both movies are good in their own way, despite them being the same, in a lot of ways.

The foremost thing I like about this movie is that it's a kid's movie but a very dark one. It's horror but not kid's horror that got done in a very fluffy or exaggerated way, in order to be more safe and considerate toward children and their 'tender, unspoiled' souls. It's really not holding back with anything and basically the movie got done like any other horror production. It takes its young audience more serious in that regard and this really pays off.

Because it's a serious and very straightforward done film, it's also very good to watch for adults as well. Really, people of all ages should be able to appreciate the drama, horror and mystery of this movie and everybody will get something (different) out of it.

It's a well done and subtle told movie, that isn't necessarily fast paced but yet never boring. It always remains a humble film, that mostly just sticks to its two main characters, giving this movie also a somewhat more realistic feeling, despite its fantasy concept. Its dark and moody atmosphere strengthens the movie its themes and characters and besides ensures that the movie has good look to it, all throughout.

A movie worth seeing for everyone, even if you have already seen the original.

8/10

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Magnum Force (1973)
9/10
It beats the original!
20 September 2012
It was quite surprising to find that this second Dirty Harry movie even beats the original. It's better written and even uses- and handles its main character in a better and more intriguing way.

At first it really looks as if this movie is going to be nothing more but just another rehash of the first movie. It seemed to feature a similar type of plot and progressed in almost the exact same manner. However, the further the movie progresses, the more starts to become clear about the story and the direction it's heading at. You think this is going to be yet another movie about a serial killer but there really is far more to the story, as you'll find out.

I won't spoil anything but there are some nice twists and turns in the movie, that shake things up. It even makes this a somewhat surprising and also original genre movie.

It's really not necessary either to watch the first "Dirty Harry" movie before you go and see this one. It's really a movie on its own, with a new story and also mostly new characters in it. All of the events that happened in the first movie are mostly irrelevant for this one and you'll get into this movie and its main characters just as easily as you would when you have already seen the first movie.

Compared to the first movie, which was great as well by the way, they had improved on certain things. The character of Harry himself for instance is given some depth and background this time around, making him even more human like and likable. You get a better sense of the character so to speak.

The movie also still feels very raw and straightforward. There is some pretty graphic violence in the movie and the Clint Eastwood character Harry Callahan of course isn't afraid to use his Magnum more than once throughout the movie. There is some real good action and some nice thrills in this movie, that all look and feel very typical for an '70's genre production, which is a big compliment of course.

There really wasn't much that I didn't liked about the movie. It did everything right, had a great genre story in and of course one iconic main character, who lifts the movie even up to greater heights, also mainly thanks to Eastwood's performance.

An absolute must see for the lovers of crime/cop movies.

9/10

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7/10
Dracula gets funky!
20 September 2012
Modern horror movies love to place classic horror icons and characters in modern times and people love to hate modern horror movies for that! However, it really isn't something that's new, as this 1972 movie clearly demonstrates. It take the classic Hammer Dracula character and puts him into a 'modern' 1972 setting, no doubt also in an attempt to modernize and update the Dracula series, hoping this would boost the franchise again. It didn't really worked out though, since its one of the final Dracula movies from the Hammer studios but in all truth and honesty; I still quite liked it!

Lets face it, all of the older Dracula movies set in more classic settings were starting to get extremely repetitive. All of the movies were being more or less the same, with very little variety to them. And while in essence this movie is also really being the same as any other classic Dracula movie story-wise, it still manages to feel like a breath of fresh air, due to its difference in style and settings.

It definitely feels like a more modern movie, though of course in today's light, it still is a very outdated movie. It's really a product of its time, with some funky '70's clothing, music and type of characters.

You could complain about it that this movie doesn't have enough vampire action in it, since this is definitely true but in all honesty, the same can be said for a lot of Dracula movies, also those from the Hammer studios. Blame Christopher Lee for that, since he was the one who was done with the character pretty early on already but agreed to still appear in Dracula movies as the count, probably just because it was quick, good money for him. But he always made sure his role was being as limited as possible and also his dialog always needed to be cut down to a minimum. But how can you be mad at Christopher Lee for that? after all, he's still an awesome and very charismatic Dracula, in every movie in which he plays the character.

Also good news about this movie is that Peter Cushing returns in it, as professor Van Helsing. Or well, a decedent of him of course. It had been 12 years and 5 Dracula movies ago he starred opposite Christopher Lee. And he was truly missed in the 4 Dracula movies which that he didn't appeared in. Not just because he was a great actor but also really since he has just as much screen-presence and charisma as Lee and was capable of counterbalancing him. All of the Dracula movies without him basically lack a good and strong enough lead, that besides was being a memorable and likable enough character.

You could argue about it if it truly adds something that this movie got set in 1972, since Dracula himself doesn't even ever get outside I believe but it does bring some originality and more creativity to the series, while still maintaining a good and typical Hammer studios horror style to it.

7/10

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Red Lights (2012)
5/10
Nothing that bad but it still fell apart toward its end.
19 September 2012
This movie was rather confusing and not for any of the right reasons. It still remains unclear to me what this movie was trying to do and say or what it wanted to be exactly. Was it trying to be a supernatural thriller or a more serious and straightforward one? The movie keeps throwing you around, without telling you exactly what is going on and how to take the movie.

It's the sort of thriller with a mystery in it. Only problem with the mystery though is that for the longest time it doesn't tell you what it's all supposed to be about. It's the sort of the movie that doesn't even drop you any hints as to where the movie will be heading at with its story and what its 'conflict' and reveal is going to be all about. It deliberately keeps you in the dark on just about everything, which to me, is always a sign of lazy writing and filmmaking.

I even dare to say that the movie feels pointless and during the first half of the movie, it really isn't going anywhere. I still don't really get the point of the movie and its story. It could had been an interesting one that showed a supernatural story from a different side; from the side of skeptics who unmask clairvoyants and attempt to explain 'paranormal activities' but the movie just never goes anywhere interesting or thought provoking with any of its themes or moments.

I was still somewhat with the movie for its first half. Even while it wasn't really going anywhere, I still kept faith in it and was hoping for some great and clever developments that would reveal what the movie was truly supposed to be all about. but after the first half, the movie is starting to take some even more annoying and silly approaches to its subject. It just never gets a clever or involving enough movie to watch.

It's a shame all, since I definitely could still see its potential. This also explains why the likes of Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro and Cillian Murphy got themselves involved with this movie. It had some good ideas in it but ultimately the movie just never handles any of them right or interestingly enough.

No, not even the actors could bring this movie to an higher level. Robert De Niro especially gives a very bleak performance, as if he wasn't giving everything because he realized this movie he got himself involved with wasn't going to be all that great. Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy are still fine in their roles and they deserved to be in a better movie really.

Not a horrible movie by any means but I still don't really known what the movie was trying to do or say and who it got made for exactly. It's unnecessarily mysterious and doesn't ever feel like a surprising or engaging movie.

5/10

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Straw Dogs (1971)
8/10
Oh those evil English blokes!
19 September 2012
Perhaps it's not really the Sam Peckinpah movie some people expect it to be but it's a real fine movie nonetheless.

It's not as violent as other Peckinpah movies (at least not till its final 20 minutes or so) and it's actually being more of a psychological thriller than anything else really. It's also a more of slow moving and subtly build up one, that takes its time to set up its character and to build up all of its tension.

But saying this is a psychological thriller doesn't mean it's being a very typical one as well. It's still a movie with its very own style and approach to the genre. It's as if Sam Peckinpah ignored the existence of all of the other genre movies out there and simply decided to do his own thing with it. The result is a real unique looking and feeling genre movie, that is a greatly constructed- and acted out one.

The style gets only enhanced by the fact that this is a '70's movie. That means that it's filled with some nice looking and experimental camera-work and editing. It's mostly a dark and gritty looking movie, that perfectly captures the atmosphere of rural England.

Because it's being a somewhat slower moving movie, it mostly relies on its characters and actors to keep things going and interesting. And this movie manages well with doing so. What I liked about Dustin Hoffman's performance and character was that he was being a very average guy, in about every way imaginable. And even more than that; he was being somewhat of a weakling and pushover, until things go too far.

Like basically every Peckinpah movie, this movie has a big and violent showdown, with still a very humane and emotional touch to it. Lets just say it's like "Home Alone" gone wild, after the main character finally decides to make a stand against the 'evil' townspeople. It's not half as ridicules as it might sound to you and it's something that absolutely works out well, since it's basically the moment the entire movie had been building up to.

A greatly done psychological thriller with some rich characters and great depth to it as well.

8/10

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7/10
Going down happily.
18 September 2012
What to expect from a comedy about the end of world? Well, nothing too cheerful or uplifting you would expect but actually the movie in fact does manage to feel like a positive and uplifting one, which perhaps was the biggest surprise about the movie.

I never expected much good from this movie but it surprised me, in a positive manner. It was better written than I anticipated and the comedy and drama elements were all balanced out well and effectively enough. It's not a movie that shall depress you and it ain't one that shall make you laugh out loud either. It's a more cute and subtly done movie, that still goes over-the-top with certain situations but manages to feel like a warm and honest, realistic movie, involving some likable characters. Not everything works out and some stuff does indeed feel a bit redundant or tends to let the movie drag a little but overall as a whole the movie still works out very well.

No, you don't have to be a big Steve Carell at all to enjoy this movie. It's definitely a more straight comical role by him and this movie demonstrates that he can handle drama just as well. Vice versa this is also being the case for Keira Knightley. She demonstrates she can play a slightly more comical character than usual and as a matter of fact, she is actually playing more of a comical character than Steve Carell. It's not a movie that will win them any big awards but both actors most definitely did a capable job and are a big part of the reason why the movie works out effectively, with both its drama and comedy.

It's a movie that is being very honest and straightforward with its subjects. It doesn't try to bloom anything, or pretend that there still is a glimmer of hope for the movie its main characters. The world is going to end in just a couple of days, it's as simple as that and the movie focuses on what people would do during the last days of their lives, knowing that the end is near. And this is actually were the movie its warmth comes from. You could even say this is being a feel good movie, as strange as that may sound.

It was a real accomplishment that this movie felt like an uplifting one. Perhaps it's also due to it that is simply embraces its main premise, from the very first seconds on already. What follows is a movie that never gets too heavy with any of its drama and never to goofy with any of its comedy. It's really well balanced, all throughout the entire movie, making "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" a surprisingly good movie to watch.

7/10

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Hit and Run (2012)
5/10
Unfunny and handles its concept poorly.
18 September 2012
By all means this should had been an entertaining movie. I mean, it had all the right potential for it and its concept is one that normally makes for a good and enjoyable movie. But the movie just never really becomes one and seems to have a hard time knowing what to do with its concept.

This movie sounds like its being one in which its two main characters are on a road trip, while being chased by different parties, for different reasons. And in its core this might be still true for this movie but simple truth remains that the movie never feels like a fun chase movie.

It's all foremost really due to its writing, which just isn't ever being anything all that great or clever. Especially the dialog gets horrendous at times and is just about as poorly written as its comedy. Seriously, I just can't see anyone finding this movie to be funny. It's all incredibly lame and forced stuff, that all shows that Dax Shepard isn't an experienced writer yet and should definitely get someone else, or at least someone else involved, to write his movie.

To me, this movie seemed nothing more but an excuse for Dax Shepard and his partner Kristen Bell and friends to have some fun and make a movie together. I wish that the fun also transfered to the movie itself but it just never really did. I'm sure that Shepard had fun driving the many cool looking cars in this movie but he should had been more concerned about making this a fun viewing experience for its audiences.

And its not just the comedy that is poorly written and handled but also the main story in general. For the longest time it isn't going anywhere at all and the movie seemed to be struggling to set up the right tone and atmosphere as well during its first 30 minutes or so. It's all over the place and tries to be far too many different things all at once, of which none really works out interesting or effectively enough.

There is not much good I can say about this movie, other than I didn't completely hated it. Guess this movie is still being a bit of an accomplishment when considering its limited budget and the fact that it had a lot of inexperienced people behind the cameras involved. At least the movie has a good and professional look to it and never becomes a boring one, since it just doesn't ever slow down.

But overall, there still is no good reason why you should ever watch this!

5/10

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Arbitrage (2012)
7/10
Real good thriller, that is worth seeing.
17 September 2012
It had been a while since I had either seen Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon or Tim Roth in anything noteworthy but to my own surprise, this was being a solid thriller, with truly some great performances by its cast.

It is absolutely true that without its cast this would had been a very formulaic, standard, average, little thriller. As a matter of fact, it more feels like an extended "Law & Order" episode. The characters and developments aren't anything surprising but the movie truly gets made interesting by its cast, who also help to make this a convincing and effective thriller.

I have never even been a too big fan of Richard Gere but he simply was absolutely great in this! He mostly carries this entire movie and he does this by playing a sort of despicable character. So it's a real accomplishment by him that he still managed to turn the main character into a still likable enough one, that you never lost interest in. He doesn't make the right choices throughout the movie but that's what keeps his character interesting and helps to let the movie move along, even during its slower moments.

It's the sort of thriller in which everything starts to go from bad to worse for its main character, when his lies and actions only get him in more and deeper problems and drags those close to him down, along with him.

But really, it remains a far from perfect thriller and still does plenty of things wrong. It does a poor job at handling some of its characters for instance. For example, it heavily under uses the Susan Sarandon character, who could had given the movie a whole other dimension and some more depth with her character. After all, she plays the main character's wife, who has certain knowledge about things that don't come into play until very late into the movie, when things are already starting to wrap up. The whole dynamic between her and the Gere character had much more potential really and I thought it was a real shame this didn't get explored any further and better. Also, I would had loved to have seen more of Susan Sarandon, since she gave away a great performance.

That's a bit of a problem with this entire movie; it just doesn't know how to handle and what to do with certain characters. The Tim Roth character also definitely feels a bit underused. When he shows up you think he is going to play a big and important role for this movie but in fact there are large portions of the movie in which his character plays no role at all. I absolutely loved his scene with Richard Gere and I was hoping for more moments like that, which unfortunately just never came.

I still really enjoyed this thriller and at times was even loving it. It's definitely a better than average genre attempt, despite still having a very standard and familiar type of premise and story in it. So in essence, nothing surprising but it's all still very well made and acted out by its impressive cast, which already is worth the price alone.

7/10

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Lawless (2012)
7/10
Thumbs up for just about everything, except for its story.
17 September 2012
A good look, some great acting, a nice premise, a great time period it is set in, this movie has it all. However one thing I can't say about this movie was that it was also doing a good job at getting me involved with its story.

I always like movies set in a specific time period in the past, especially when they have a great and detailed look to it, such as this movie does. This movie is set in the 1920's or 1930's and it does a good job at setting the right tone for it. It's definitely a movie with a good look to it and you could tell where most of the money went to, besides its actors.

It really as an all-star cast in it, with perhaps not the world's biggest actors but more the sort of actors who all are 'hot' at the moment and are on a good streak. I know it's easy to make fun of Shia LaBeouf but in all truth and honesty, this kid always had some real talent and potential in him. He didn't always made the right movie choices but with this movie he definitely shows his potential once more and even more than that; he shows he can carry a movie and play a convincing and demanding role in a more 'serious' and heavy movie. Also actors such as Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Gary Oldman show up, making this a real assemble piece, though in all truth, some of them show up for only about 5 minutes.

That perhaps should tell you something about its storytelling already. It isn't always focused and interesting enough. At times the pacing is off and its hard to tell whether the movie wanted to be a fun and entertaining gangster flick or a more serious and realistic one. It doesn't explore certain aspects well enough and pushes some things too much to the background at times. It was hard for me to every truly get into the movie.

It seems that the story just wasn't all that great and interesting enough, or perhaps it was written with a different style in mind. Either way, it doesn't make "Lawless" the best or most engaging movie to watch, though for most part it still remains a perfectly watchable movie. It remains a capably made- and well acted out movie, that was missing something to let it rise above the level of just average.

7/10

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7/10
There is something odd about this movie, indeed.
16 September 2012
Something is missing from this movie. By all means, this should had been a great, entertaining and heartfelt, modern fairy tale, for the whole family to enjoy but the movie handles certain themes poorly and make some odd choices with its story at times.

And honestly, I still foremost really liked the movie. It's harmless and cute enough still and the movie has its moments. But that doesn't take away anything from the fact that this movie still is being a bit of a missed opportunity.

All of the right intentions were there, it just didn't always worked out successfully. The approach they were going for was a heartfelt family movie, in which a mysterious young boy brings people together and changes their lives for the positive. It just happen to do it all in a wrong way, for most of the time. First of all; it does far too little with its mystery/fantasy aspects. They accept the boy for who he is and where he came from pretty early on- and easily. Besides, it all seems like the boy is doing very little special actually, as if the movie was afraid it would loose some of its viewers if it was going to be more heavy on its fantasy aspects.

That perhaps was the movie its biggest problem; it wasn't heavy on its fantasy. The movie rather picks some uninteresting plot developments instead. It prefers to be about pencils, as opposed to something more heartfelt or bigger than life. It seems like the movie still wanted to be about morals and wanted to teach you about life but it mostly does so by inserting stereotypical characters and some forced or formulaic dramatic moments. It's not as warm and emotional involving as this movie required to be, in order for it to let it all work out.

I am also still a bit confused about it who this movie was aimed for. It seems to be a bit too slow and uninteresting for young children and not convincing enough for adults. It's a bit in between of being an entertaining children's movie and a modern fairy tale for adults. I did wished they had balanced certain things out a bit better, so the movie would had been better and more fun to watch for both adults and youngsters.

The movie is still being fine as it is. I mean, all the things I had problems with didn't ruined the movie for me in any way and I could certainly still enjoy and appreciate it for what it was. It's cuteness factor and innocence still make this a recommendable film. Just don't expect to be very taken- or blown away by any of it.

7/10

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4/10
Just as silly as a modern porn flick in my opinion.
15 September 2012
Thing that I like- and older porn flicks are known for, is that they are made with some class and at least some effort got put into its originality. Besides, they often feature a real story and got put together by people with an obvious passion and interest for film-making. This often resulted in some great and classic genre movies, which mostly came from the '70's and '80's. Movies with a good look to them and some true originality. None of that really goes for this movie though.

This movie is also often regarded as part of the whole porno chic movement but quite frankly I don't see why. It's just as silly and bad in its buildup as a modern porn flick for instance and most certainly doesn't have a good or professional look to it.

It has an incredible cheap look and at times the sound just simply cuts off. Really not all that pleasant to watch. It still uses some good extreme closeups though, which I thought was a nice touch.

You could say that it attempts to have a story in it but it's just one of those stories that serves as an excuses to have sex scenes rapidly following up on each other. It still feels very random though, even while it's all being connected through its story. Of course nothing convincing or realistic about this movie but hey, that most of the time isn't anything people are looking for in an adult movie anyway.

The sex scenes themselves really aren't anything special neither though, in my opinion. Even though this definitely is a hardcore flick, it's still nothing all that graphic really. It just isn't filmed all that well and at times you can't really tell what's happening. You could say that the movie only truly gets graphic with its extreme closeups but there are only just a handful of moments in this movie.

It's of course also incredibly painful to see people trying to act in this. It's all truly bad and it's not hard to see why these people were in the adult business, as opposed to being in the 'true' movie business.

Most definitely not the best or most fun the genre has to offer, not even if you're into this, classic, old fashioned, genre stuff.

4/10

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5/10
Is mostly going nowhere with anything.
15 September 2012
To be honest, I have always liked watching the Jason Bourne movies but I also was starting to get a bit fed up with them, since basically all of them are- and are doing the same thing. I however indeed wished that this movie in some ways was a bit more like the previous Bourne movies.

Thing I have always appreciated the Bourne-series for was that they turned the action genre into something more realistic again. All of the fights and chase scenes are shot in a realistic way and don't feel all that exaggerated. This movie definitely could had used some moments like that, or some more excitement in general.

The way I see this movie is not necessarily as a sequel but more as a reboot to the series, with a different main character this time around. They seem to be hoping to be able to continue the series with Jeremy Renner but they should focus on getting some better writers first.

Because it's a reboot, it mostly feels like a rehash of the previous Bourne movies as well. We have to be introduced to new characters, who yet are going through the exact same things as the ones in the previous movies. Aaron Cross is basically being Jason Bourne, on the run for his superiors, who want to shut down Treadstone again because of a YouTube video(!). And Rachel Weisz is basically playing the Franka Potente character. An 'innocent' bystander who due to circumstances gets involved- and has to team up with the main hero. So even though the movie is mostly doing different things it all still feels very familiar and more of the same, which makes you wonder what the Renner continuation of the series has to offer. Nothing new and nothing good unfortunately.

They start all over again but another problem with the movie is that Aaron Cross just ain't no Jason Bourne. Bourne was likable and you wanted to root for him. This movie doesn't ever give you any good reasons to care about the Jeremy Renner character and his faith. He is not as interesting and he doesn't have as much range as the Bourne character, in terms of depth and emotions.

Also because of this the whole story and movie feel lacking and it doesn't ever seem like it's going anywhere good or interesting with it. It doesn't work out half as well as it potentially still could had done. There is very little variety in the story and you feel that one or two twists could had spiced things up a little bit more but the movie doesn't ever surprises you in any way and is mostly being a very straightforward flick, without any good or clever developments. Perhaps it's true that this is being one of those movies that thought it was being more clever than it truly was. With its many dialog and people constantly scratching their heads and rubbing their eyes in despair, while looking at a bunch of computer screens, it certainly feels that way.

Director Tony Gilroy very obviously tried to mimic director Paul Greengrass, who directed the two previous Bourne movies, his style. So yes, shaky cams, sudden zooms, it's all still very present in this movie. It however in this case feels forced and that distracted from this movie. I even somewhat felt sorry for Tony Gilroy. He tried so hard and desperate but he most definitely just ain't no Paul Greengrass!

Before doing another Bourne movie, they should focus on getting a better and more interesting script first!

5/10

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Bait (III) (2012)
6/10
Surpsingly enough not horrible.
15 September 2012
It was real surprising for me to find out how watchable this movie actually was. I mean, a movie in which a shark attacks a bunch of people trapped in a supermarket, after a tsunami hit, doesn't exactly sound like high quality stuff. As a matter of fact. you would normally expect a movie like this to be extremely bad and cheesy but the movie, as it turned out, was far from cheesy and simply was being pretty good for what it was.

I still expected the worst, after the first 15 minutes or so, which wasn't exactly being a very promising start for the movie. It looked horrible and I feared for the rest of the movie. I expected it to be a very formulaic genre flick, in which nothing exciting or original ever happened. And even while the movie isn't being all that original, it still feels like a good watch, since it manages to entertain and takes itself serious enough.

That was perhaps being the key as to why the movie worked out; it took itself serious. Normally modern B-movies are very self aware and actors and directors obviously don't take their work all that serious. They make things deliberately cheesy to add to the fun factor and while this does work out at times, at others it makes the movie noting less but bad and annoying. In that regard it also was being refreshing to see how serious everybody involved took this movie. It definitely adds to the overall quality of the movie and its nice to see that this is a movie that took its audience serious and didn't treated them like a bunch of popcorn-eating-no-brainers, who only wanted to see lots of blood and nudity. The movie is not like that at all, even though the first 15 minutes would still suggest otherwise. Perhaps it was all deliberate and in the first 15 minutes they were like; 'this is what you expect us to do' and what after that follows was 'but this is what we are going to do with the concept'.

Thing I also liked about the movie was that it didn't featured one main, heroic character, in it, who saved everybody. instead there is a wide range of different characters in this, who all, just about, share an equal amount of screen time. None of them is pretending to be a hero, which also lets all of them all feel somewhat realistic and human-like.

On the downside; the special effects in this are pretty horrendous. Sort of funny that after 40-years, "Jaws" still has the most convincing looking shark in it. This movie too often relies on CGI effects, which aren't exactly of the best quality. But still, as far as shark movies go, this definitely is being one of the better ones, believe it or not.

Definitely watchable!

6/10

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